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TBOX Organizer's Baseball Pub Crawl Expected to be Tame

By Serena Dai | April 24, 2013 8:02am
 Attendees of last year's Cover Your Bases, held on April 28, 2012, pose for the camera.
Attendees of last year's Cover Your Bases, held on April 28, 2012, pose for the camera.
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LAKEVIEW — Organizers of the rowdy TBOX pub crawl are holding another event Saturday — but the baseball-themed event is expected to be small and contained, the alderman's office said. 

Festa Parties applied for a special events permit for its annual Cover Your Bases pub crawl, as requested by Ald. Tom Tunney (44th). More than 1,500 people had registered for the crawl as of Tuesday, and owner Chris Festa expects 2,000 people to register by the day.

Between 3,000 and 4,000 people are expected to fill Wrigleyville on Saturday, said Erin Duffy, Tunney's community outreach director.

Comparatively, Festa's hallmark Twelve Bars of Christmas last winter attracted an estimated 40,000 people, according to police — after organizers predicted just 18,000 would attend. The day was marred by violence and complaints of rampant property damage, vomit and public drunkenness in the neighborhood.

The city cannot regulate pub crawls, so in light of complaints, Tunney asked Festa Parties to apply for special event permits for future crawls. Festa has no legal obligation to do so but did get a permit for Saturday's pub crawl, Duffy said.

Organizers also agreed to provide six portable toilets and to hire 10-14 extra security guards per shift and a private company to clean up afterward, Duffy said. Clark Street will stay open.

Festa Parties' Mardi Gras-themed crawl BeadQuest in February, the organization's first event after TBOX, drew about 3,000 people but did not incite any complaints, Duffy said.

"They've been great at keeping us informed," Duffy said.

Attendees of Cover Your Bases will hop about 30 Wrigleyville and Lakeview bars from 1 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday wearing T-shirts with nine baseball bases that they can fill with stickers by visiting pubs. 

The Cubs are not in town Saturday, as they're facing the Miami Marlins in South Florida.

Festa Parties did not respond to a request for comment.